chapter  3
Democratic Values and Educational Aims
Pages 19

There is much to be said for this contention; for the term education is used valuatively, but vaguely with lack of precision regarding its area of application. From this it might be mistakenly suggested that all that needs to be done is to pick out certain criteria that seem central to one's understanding of education and lay these down as a stipulatory preliminary to the issues to be discussed. This, I think, would be a pretty pointless and presumptuous procedure. To start with, the concept of education may be contestable, but it is not completely so. We cannot call anything we like education - for example, scratching our heads. At least it denotes some kind of learning - and not any kind of learning either. At one time education was more or less synonymous with the learning involved in upbringing and, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, was used of animals - even silkworms. As with many concepts, however, changes have taken place that mirror changes in economic and social life. Although, on occasion, the term education may be used to speak of the upbringing or schooling of children in a noncommital way, it is also used with more specific suggestions. We can now say that a person has been to school but is not educated or that his upbringing was not particularly educative. Dogs bring up but do not educate their young.